Maps are at the core of any Search and Rescue (SAR) operation. Geographic information system (GIS) software allows rescue personnel to quickly generate maps that depict specific aspects of the operation and show what is happening on the ground over time. The maps and operations data can be shared over a network to supply an enhanced common operating picture throughout the Incident Command Post (ICP).
A small, dedicated group of professional rescuers had the vision and initiative to develop an improved method of search and rescue. The goal was to provide standards, documents, and training to the international SAR community and establish more widespread and effective integration of GIS into operations.
MapSAR is a free tool that runs with ArcGIS 10 to store geospatial information, enabling Search and Rescue maps to be generated, stored, and printed quickly so that search teams can get out the door faster to look for the missing person. MapSAR.net contains this application along with ebooks and exercise data to help get you started.